BMI vs. ideal body weight

Ideal Body Weight (IBW) vs. BMI: Which One Should You Use?

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The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently published a study comparing the use of Ideal Body Weight (IBW) and Body Mass Index (BMI). The results? Well, you will become more open-minded about your choices and alternatives after reading this article.

For those of you who have been following our blog, by now you know that we encourage our readers to ask questions and find out the truth themselves, rather than following blindly!

Let’s Be Clear on Which is Which

Body Mass Index or (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness. BMI can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual.

Ideal Body Weight (IBW) is a weight that is believed to be maximally healthful for a person, based chiefly on height but modified by factors such as gender, age, build, and degree of muscular development.

Ideal Body Weight (IBW)

In order to measure IBW, “metrics that adjust weight for height are used as estimates of underweight, overweight, and weight-associated health risks and mortality.” Basically, maintaining your ideal body weight is supposed to improve your health and help you live longer.

According to Manfred James Muller,”Throughout the past century, different IBW algorithms have been developed based on the general idea that height defines weight as a linear function.”

We have pursued an ideal weight formula for about a century. Hundreds of formulas and tables have been created. Today, despite years of debate, experts still do not have a definite answer regarding the “best” weight for a person.

Below is a list of the most popular “ideal weight” formulas:

Ideal Body Weight Formulas

Hello Eating Disorder and Broken Bones!

If I were self-conscious and believed in this method of calculating my health and mortality and actually try to reach my IBW, I would be miserable and unhealthy. I would have to starve myself, overexercise, and ultimately develop some kind of eating disorder. According to the most popular IBW formulas, I should weigh anything between 101.1 lbs – 136.7 lbs or 55 kgs – 63 kgs.

That's It Chocolate Bites

Most of us would simply accept these numbers, start extreme dieting, and exercise the living daylights out of ourselves in order to achieve the lowest figure. We then fail to reach the target. Starving our bodies and succumbing to yo-yo dieting can lead to morbid obesity and put you in a worse position than you were in when you started.

Based on my ethnicity, genes, body type, and age, I feel that a goal weight of 132 lbs -143 lbs (60 kg – 65 kg) is attainable and healthy. Maintaining the lower limit of 101.1 lbs – 131 lbs (55 -59 kg) would be dangerous and could deplete my muscle mass to a point where my bone density would lower. It would put me at risk of osteoporosis, a condition where decreased bone strength increases the risk of a broken bone. I would also suffer from decreased metabolic rate. My energy levels and mental acuity would also suffer. Continue reading

eating disorder helpline

Holistic Body Love – Your Secret Weapon Against Eating Disorder

Bonus Article

In honor of the Eating Disorders Awareness Week (Feb 1 -7), I wanted to share with you my message and story of recovery from ” disordered eating”, in hopes of inspiring you to deepen your own sense of health, wellness, balance, and self-love.

The 5 Realms of Holistic Body Love

self love

Holistic Body Love to me, is about being in a healthy relationship with yourself in five important realms of life: mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually & socially.

Let’s define these five areas:

  1. Mental: This is our self-talk, what it is we say to ourselves about ourselves. Ideally, we want to be engaging in positive self-talk significantly more than negative self-talk.
  2. Emotional: This is the way we feel about ourselves, and the ability to regulate one’s own emotions well. The way we think about ourselves leads to how we feel about ourselves.
  3. Physical: This involves our physical body, not in appearance, but rather with the health condition of our body. For example, a strong immune system, organs that function well, a body that’s well nourished with nutrients, a body that has abundant energy to thrive.
  4. Spiritual: This area can have multiple meanings. For some, it would be one’s own ability to tune into their intuitive wisdom. For others, it may be their connection with a Higher Power. Essentially, it is the ability to see the bigger picture and connect with sacred aspects of life, so that life has fulfillment through deeper meaning and purpose.
  5. Social: We are social creatures at the very core of us, meaning we all need a connection with people to heal. We are influenced every day by relationships and dynamics in our home, work, school, and  life environments.

I see that having a balance in these five realms can help us feel more present, grounded, and empowered in who we are as an individual, and in the various roles we take on. Continue reading

Journeying from Hollywood to Healthy

Journey from Hollywood to HealthyWhen The Zeit contacted me with an invite to become a contributor, I was beyond excited that my writing style & my one-month-old baby blog, The Gist of Life, had caught the attention of such a fantastic site showcasing relevant, honest insights into self care – both mental & physical. I started researching The Zeit & pretty soon jumped from ‘beyond excited’ to full on, knock-my-socks-off THRILLED when I found the following on the About page in regards to the health industry:

“…There are a lot of truly dedicated individuals and organizations that are sincere and have good products, advice, and services. However, it takes knowledge to know what is real and what is not. Knowledge is power and we at The-Zeit want to furnish you with the knowledge so you are able to make all the right choices.”

To share a little about myself, I’ve spent the last several years as an actress in Los Angeles. You’ve seen me on FOX, Lifetime, Disney Channel, ABC Daytime, among other places. You know what that means? My entire world has been a game of “what is real and what is not” for quite some time now. Because in Hollywood, if you can’t tell the difference between real and fake, then you’re doing something right. Right? Continue reading

Eating Disorder: Anorexia vs. Bulimia vs. Binge-Eating

The Friend I Couldn’t Save

Depressed little girl with eating disorder

Eating disorders are among the top 4 leading causes of years of life lost through death or disability. Image by David Castillo

Asmariya had the sweetest smile which I can only compare to an upside down rainbow. Looking back when we way both growing up in Dubai I am tempted to say she was one of my closest friends. When we were about twelve something happened to her and up to this day I am not sure I can describe it.

Asmariya had lost so much weight and she had lost her smile; her beautiful upside down rainbow was now a black cloud of tears. She hardly talked and she kept calling herself ugly. Her parents went from being pissed off at her to crying. I had never seen a proud Arab man cry before.

Some said she was possessed or had encountered the “evil eye”. Whatever the case she was misunderstood. When I was 15 I had to return to Mombasa (on the coast of Kenya). I never saw Asmariya again and I never will because she is no longer with us. Continue reading